Computer simulation and animation are used to build upon traditional methodologies for the evaluation of rollover accidents. The use of computer simulation allows for a more complete and detailed reconstruction than is possible with traditional methods. The use of computer animation allows a superior presentation of the reconstruction with detailed analytical results and real time visualization employing 3-D computer graphics.
The accident scene and vehicle damage data are used together with results from rollover tests and computer simulation and computer graphics to reconstruct the vehicle path and vehicle dynamics in three dimensions. The significant previous papers, which provide the scientific basis for rollover accident reconstruction, are discussed with regard as to how this knowledge can be applied using HVE1 and 3-D Studio MAX2. The use of HVE and 3-D Studio MAX in conjunction with the traditional methods enables the reconstruction to be done in three dimensions with a detailed analysis of linear and angular velocities and accelerations. With HVE it is possible to analyze driver inputs leading to the rollover and the occupant kinematics during the rollover.
The methodology is illustrated with examples utilizing three dimensional terrain and actual accident data to show how the simulation and graphics are utilized in the analysis and in the presentation of the vehicle’s motion including tire forces and suspension dynamics in realtime. The understanding and visualization of these important characteristics is more easily achieved than by using traditional methods.